Friday, September 02, 2005

Flashes of Outrage

I probably shouldn't post these thoughts...

Anti-War Mom Glad She Didn't Talk with President
A few days ago, Cindy Sheehan, who has been camped in Crawford, Texas, outside the ranch of President Bush to protest the war in Iraq, in which her son was killed, said that she was glad the President didn't meet with her. “I look back on it, and I am very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have sparked and galvanized the peace movement,” Sheehan told The Associated Press. “If he’d met with me, then I would have gone home, and it would have ended there.”

Ignoring the fact that a number of senior officials from the Bush Administration did meet with her... What do these people want? Others are criticizing President Bush for being on vacation -- as if the President of the United States can ever truly go on vacation. As Buckaroo Banzai said, "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." And just who does Jesse Jackson, Jr., think he is? What qualifications does he have, apart from having chosen to be born of a celebrity father, to allow him to be given a public forum to criticize the President about the situation in the Gulf Coast? (Sorry, just because he's a member of Congress isn't enough...) I dunno, maybe it's just me, getting cranky in my old age.

Racism and Disaster Relief
Apparently, Jesse Sr. thinks that racism is at the root of the problems in New Orleans. "Many black people feel that their race, their property conditions and their voting patterns have been a factor in the response," Jackson said after meeting with Louisiana officials Thursday. "I'm not saying that myself, but what's self-evident is that you have many poor people without a way out."

He is not alone in thinking this way, or saying such things. Here are a few quotes:
"If you know that terror is approaching in terms of hurricanes, and you've already seen the damage they've done in Florida and elsewhere, what in God's name were you thinking? I think a lot of it has to do with race and class. The people affected were largely poor people. Poor, black people."
The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
"No one would have checked on a lot of the black people in these parishes while the sun shined. So am I surprised that no one has come to help us now? No."
Mayor Milton D. Tutwiler of Wistonville, Miss.

There's no denying that many of the poor in New Orleans, and in every major city, are minorities -- in New Orleans, they are black. There's no denying that their circumstances are pitiable; and even more so, with the floodwaters driving them from their homes, and into desperate conditions. But surely our leaders, including those who speak (or purport to do so) on behalf of the poor and the minorities have enough intelligence to look at the situation, and realize that what can be done is being done? How does one go about bringing in the supplies of food and water and other necessities when the transportation modes into the city are disrupted? How do rescue workers go about their business when they are being shot at? How do buses get loaded when they are being rushed by the desperate? How do soldiers and police restore and maintain order? The doctors and nurses and EMT's, the soldiers, the policemen, all need to be brought to the area -- and that takes time. There must be resources put in place for them -- food and water and supplies -- or else they simply add to the problem. All this takes time -- we have to have patienbce. Yes, it's hard to say that when people are sufferin and starving and dying -- but explain to me, if you can, how being critical of those who are leading the relief efforts helps the situation? Explain to me what more the President might have done to address the situation? We don't have transporter beams to move people and supplies from place to place, after all! Oh, and please explain to me how it is that the relief workers and those seeking to restore order are attending to everyone who comes to them as best they can? Last time I looked, the police and the soldiers and the medical people and ther private citizens out with their fishing boats to bring in survivors were black, and white, and hispanic, and you name it -- and they were risking themselves to help those in need on rooftops and treetops and in attics to get to shelter and safety. Are there racists among us? Yes, of all colors. Each of us must confront, and confess, and repent of our sins. But let's not confuse a lack of information, and an inability to coordinate communications, and transportation problems, with racism -- please!

California State Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Proposal
By a vote of 21-15, the California State Senate approved a bill that would allow same-sex marriages in that state. By so doing, they become the first legislative body in the nation to approve such a measure. The bill now goes to the California Assembly, whcih voted down a similar proposal back in June. The bill would change the definition of marriage to speak of a union between two people, rather than a man and a woman.

As Yogi Berra is reported to have said, "It ain't over until it's over." Oh, "over" in this context is usually defined as "getting what I want." This issue is not going to go away...

Please forgive me, a sinner - and please pray for me...